The Silver Bullet

It’s amazing when I realize that I have accumulated 30 years of public policy experience!

Based on this, I humbly offer the solution to many serious problems facing Austin, America, and the World.

My plan will solve or a least substantially impact these enormous issues:

1) greatly reduces our dependence on imported oil

2) greatly enhances our National security

3) No more wars for oil

4) greatly reduces  the price of oil and gas, permanently

5) saves the US auto industry

6) provides enormous economic development opportunities

7) greatly reduces greenhouse gases

8) enhances the environment in many different ways

9) greatly enhances public health ( less cancer, asthma, etc. )

10) begins an upward spiral of benefits, many of which we cannot foresee

One solution…The Silver Bullet…addresses all of these issues.  The key is to spend money where all of these problems intersect:  the Nexus.  Instead of throwing huge sums of money at these individual issues, find the place where they all connect…one solution for many problems.

This is efficient spending, something we rarely see in government anymore.  It is something we really need right now.

Here’s what we do…here’s where we spend:

1) Since we taxpayers are giving billions to the automakers, we can “work with” ( require ) them to  produce vehicles which support our national interests.  We can require them to set up production lines to make electric cars and trucks: 500,000 per year.  This might cost $10 Billion, more or less, which is in line with what we have already given them ( I’m not sure what they did with all that money.  With this plan, we would at least be able to see what we were getting for our money ).

This is a very direct and substantial incentive to the auto industry to produce products the buyers want.

2) To support the conversion to electric vehicles, the government should spend $2 Billion for research and development on batteries and solar energy.  Research contracts would be awarded to leading universities like UT, MIT, Cal Tech, University of Chicago, etc.  The government should commit to this level of spending for at least three years, a total of $6 Billion.

3) The Federal government should give a tax credit of $10,000 for the purchase of an electric vehicle.  For 500,000 vehicles, that would cost $5 Billion.  To sustain that for three years would total $15 Billion.  This would make electric vehicles affordable for millions of buyers.

4) The Federal government should give money to the 50 largest cities to offer cash rebates to purchasers of electric vehicles, up to 10,000 vehicles in each city.  At $5,000 per vehicle, this would amount to a cash infusion into each city of  $50 Million.  Do that each year for three years, and you get cleaner air and extra money circulating in the 50 largest cities in America.  Total cost: $7.5 Billion.

5) Count electric vehicles at 100 miles per gallon for fleet mileage ( CAFE ) standards.  This would make them very valuable to the automakers: the more electric vehicles they produce, the less they would have to bring up the miles per gallon numbers for the rest of their fleet.  The automakers would save millions of dollars in not having to tinker with their internal combustion engines trying to get marginal increases in mileage.

Total cost for #5: 0

That’s it…that’s the plan.  Five simple steps.  Steps 1 and 5 are substantial, direct incentives to the manufacturers.  Steps 3 and 4 are enormous, direct incentives to the buyers, bringing down the cost of electric vehicles so that millions of people can afford them.

A key to the success of this plan is that BOTH ends of the process are incentivized;  the manufacturers AND the buyers.  That’s why this plan will work!

Total cost: $38.5 Billion, most of it spread over three years.

Now, Dear Reader, go back to the start of this story to see what $38.5 Billion can buy: items 1-10.  This is a huge bargain!!  We can have all of those things we desperately need for the relatively modest sum of less than $40 Billion.

When you consider how much our government has already given to the banks and failed financial institutions…and for what?  What have we gotten??  Not much…

This plan…The Silver Bullet…turns the corner from a century of the internal combustion engine ( look where that has got us ) to a new clean form of transportation…the electric vehicle.  This is revolutionary.  This is truly transformative.  This will change the world, and much for the better.

Especially when we hook up our electric vehicles to renewable power sources like the sun and the wind.

One of our automakers should produce a sleek silver electric car and call it “The Silver Bullet”.  They would sell millions of them, and solve many of the world’s problems in the process.